Raven Thomas works for Haymarket as a medical assistant in the Center’s triage space, but she was introduced to Haymarket as a young child at the age of 3, when multiple family members came to Haymarket for treatment.
“My mom was what I would call a “frequent flyer” here at Haymarket. She was in and out of treatment a lot,” explained Raven. In addition to her mother, Raven said she had extended family members who received treatment at Haymarket. Raven recalls visiting them and spending time at the Center. It was during her mother’s recovery that Raven was introduced to a friendly figure who helped comfort her during a challenging time, Father Mac.
“I still have very vivid memories of Father Mac’s smile and how he always carried butterscotch candies in his pocket,” Raven recalled.
Seeing the effects and impact of substance use disorders firsthand provided Raven with determination to push herself and become a provider of treatment and support for people in recovery. After college, she started a job as a phlebotomist at a laboratory with multiple locations. When she was told where exactly she would be working, she was astounded to hear that she would be returning to Haymarket.
“Coming back to Haymarket hit me like a ton of bricks,” said Raven. “The neighborhood has changed so much since I was little, but the kindness of the staff stayed exactly the same.”
Today, Raven is a staff member of Haymarket itself, and when she’s not providing medical care to the patients of the Center, she’s making sure that the children of Haymarket know that they’re in a good place.
“I practically live on Mater Hall, visiting the babies and little kids,” she said. “They’ll see me in the hallways and say, “Hi best friend!” and it just makes me so happy to see them. I just try to be the person that I needed when I was growing up for them, to let them know that they are special and loved.”